The Inspector of Prisons, Patricia Gilheaney, has published a document setting out how her office will carry out inspections of prisons across the country.
The Inspection Framework for Prisons in Ireland was launched today (15 September) by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.
The framework is based on the statutory role of the Office of the Inspector of Prisons in legislation, national legislation relating to prisons and prisoners’ rights, and international obligations to prisoners. The office was established under Part 5 of the Prisons Act 2007.
Under the plan, the inspection programme will be reviewed every year, with decisions on the schedule of inspections being based on a number of factors, including reports and letters from prisoners, findings from previous inspections, the period of time since the last inspection and broader issues of concern in one or more prisons.
Under the framework, each inspection will focus on five key areas:
- Safety and security,
- Respect and dignity,
- Health and wellbeing,
- Rehabilitation and development,
The office's mission is to provide "safe and secure custody, dignity of care and
rehabilitation to prisoners for safer communities".